Manga sales boomed in North American bookstores in 2021, especially as a manga drought from 2020 had prevented many retailers from restocking the more popular titles last year. Adult graphic novels saw sales increase 178.5% in the first half of the 2021, totalling 16.2 million copies sold and making graphic novels the second-largest adult fiction subcategory. Publisher's Weekly reports that graphic novels made up nearly 20% of adult fiction unit sales in the first six months of 2021, compared to 9.3% last year. Given that sales of all print books rose significantly in 2020 and 2021, that is an even more impressive achievement. Publisher's Weekly points out that manga publisher Viz Media was one of the big beneficiaries, with the launch of Kohei Horikoshi's My Hero Academia, Vol. 26 selling more than 90,000 copies in the first half of this year, with volume 1 selling 81,000 and volume 2 selling 82,000. Other Viz titles like the launch of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Taiba, Vol. 1 by Koyoharu Gotouge sold more than 82,000 copies. While Viz rival-Kodansha saw their Attack on Titan, Vol. 1 by Hajime Isayama sold nearly 88,000 copies.
But these manga sales were put in perspective compared to kids graphic novels, which topped the charts for all juvenile fiction sold this year in the bookstore market with Dog Man Vol 10: Mothering Heights by Dav Pilkey selling more than 867,000 copies in the first half of 2021, while Dav Pilkey's Cat Kid Comic Club spinoff selling almost 370,000 copies. The last time we ran the Bleeding Cool Top 100 Power List, Dav Pilkey topped the chart. This is further proof why. He is the best-selling comic book creator in North America by far. And that doesn't seem to be changing any time soon. Not unless Raina Telgemeier surprises us all. Let's see what the rest of 2021 brings us all, shall we?